A brand is only as successful as the team and talent behind it. We’ve all heard stories of successes and failures within emerging companies being tied to organizational design and it’s true; the right team can make or break a business. Finding the right executive team to build the most effective infrastructure not only grows your business, but it can also significantly elevate your brand.
According to ForceBrands’ Executive Recruiter Jane Lee, who works on C-Suite, Board and Advisory positions with emerging brands, there are several reasons why founders and entrepreneurs should consider spending more time and energy seeking advisors rather than full-time senior executives at the early stages of the brand’s growth. These are brands that are still deepening their roots and creating a name in the industry or that haven’t brought in outside funds.
“Great talent is hard to find and many growing brands approach us to help them find executives to lead and scale their businesses,” said Lee, who explained that many brands can’t afford executive level talent in the early stages of growth. “What they really need are board members or advisors who come with industry-related experience outside of the already existing founders.”
Most brands that generate over $15M in annual revenue typically already have a diverse board in place, unless they are self-funded, in which case the boards may be comprised of family members and thus, may not be very diverse. Lee encourages high-growth brands to consider voting in strategic board members or engaging the assistance of board advisory consultants.
“The advantage to having a strong board team consisting of industry leaders with varied backgrounds in Sales, Marketing, Finance and Operations is that they can provide a lot of guidance on the gaps in the business and help identify the right team that is qualified to take the brand to the next level,” Lee said. “Growing a company takes a village and it can be overwhelming for one founder to handle those responsibilities, especially if the wrong hires can really hurt your business in the long run.”
In her role at ForceBrands, Lee has seen an increased demand for board and advisory placements.
“Lately we’ve been getting a lot more requests to fill these roles,” Lee said. “For the most part, they start out as executive searches but we are able to help our clients see that their brands are too small to bring on full-time executives.”
Lee said she takes pride in helping brands understand the value of board members and advisors. “Unless you’re an experienced executive from the consumer product space and you’ve been successful at positioning brands, you need a trusted set of advisors — a trusted group of people who have experience and contacts in the space to be that soundboard for you and help make sure you’re maneuvering correctly.”
According to Lee, the component of a board that is most instrumental in helping a brand grow at different stages — whether it’s scalability, building infrastructure, or even managing projects — is diversity with industry knowledge.
Reach out to our team to start designing your CPG board today.